Jessica Harper is the epitome of perfection. She’s a good daughter, makes excellent grades, and always strays on the safe side of life. The last thing she thought would ever happen was falling in love with her best friend’s brother. But sometimes fate just has a way of bringing two people together.
Wide receiver for the University of Arizona, Gabe Garcia, seems to have it all. When his feelings for Jessica come to surface, Gabe will give up everything to be with her.
But what happens when a tragedy abruptly changes the course of your life? For Jessica and Gabe, everything they thought they knew about each other will be questioned. Sometimes, there are scars in life that are cut too deep to completely heal.
Will their love prove to be unbreakable, or will it shatter and prove fate is just another lie?
*This book contains mature subject matter and is not intended for those under 17 years of age.*
I’m visiting the small community of Santa Ruiz, California today to sit down with Jess. I’m very excited to speak with her today. As I pull up to her home I see her sitting in the porch swing. It’s just as I imagined it in my mind when reading about her a Gabe’s story.
I get out of the car and head toward her and extend my hand.
Jenn: Hello Jess, It’s a pleasure to meet you.
Jess: Hi Jenn! It’s nice to meet you as well.
Jenn: Your home is beautiful it’s just as I imagined it in my mind.
Jess: Thank you. Gabe is pretty much amazing. It still takes my breath away every time I pull up to this house, or walk through the front door. And it kind of breaks my heart that he did this all for me, not knowing if I’d ever get to see it.
We sit on the porch swing enjoying the beautiful weather. As we chat a bit.
Jenn: You ready for some questions?
Jess: Absolutely, what do you have for me?
Jenn: After reading about your story, it’s clear you have been through so much in your life. How do you think it’s changed you the most?
Jess: I finally feel…secure, loved. I struggled with feelings of being unloved, not because I was unloved, but I just didn’t know how to let myself feel love, security, contentment. It was hard for my dad to show that to me growing up, and I guess I just didn’t know how to truly accept love until I learned to let go of some negative feelings weighing me down.
Jenn: Your story was beautiful and heartbreaking at the same time, and I was truly inspired by your determination even thought it was frustrating. I wonder looking back now do you have any regrets on how you handled things?
Jess: Yes. I don’t care who you are, if you say you don’t have regrets, you’d be lying to yourself. I regret leaving the way I did. I regret pushing Gabe and Ava and the rest of the Garcia’s away. They all would do anything for me, I know that now. I was just so lost, and I didn’t want to be the thing burdening them—I mean, I’m not even their real family. I was the neighbor girl across the street. Now I know, I was more to them than that. But, at the time, I felt this was what I had to do for them and for me.
Jenn: Let’s talk about Gabe. When did you first notice that you had feelings for him?
Jess: I was probably fourteen years old. I think that’s when I finally started noticing him in a way other than the ‘brotherly Gabe’. I remember sitting on the bleachers at the high school and watching him after one of his football games. It was always his smile that got me. My heart would be a little faster when we’d talk, I’d get nervous when he was around. I remember feeling very self-conscious around that time period. I was tall and lanky and just starting to grow into myself, and he was this gorgeous eighteen year old getting ready to graduate high school. Sigh….
Jenn: Did you ever get any impression before your trip to visit him at college that he reciprocated those feelings?
Jess: No, I mean I guess I don’t really know. There would be times I’d catch him glancing at me a little longer than one normally would. Or he’d make a point of sending me a special text message and things like that, but I always thought it was just because he felt sorry for me.
Jenn: When he decided that he wasn’t going back to college what was going through your head when he told you?
Jess: Mom and Dad are going to be PISSED. John and Angelica have worked so hard to build a wonderful life for Luke, Gabe and Ava. John built a construction company from nothing to a very successful company, but he never went to college. All he wanted for his three kids to go to college and get their degrees.
Jenn: Things got really crazy for a while did you worry that you might not ever be able to get back to the way things were?
Jess: Yes. Everyday. I was surviving. But then I kind of always survived. It wasn’t until I really learned to let go, move forward and live did I realize I could be happy. I remember driving back to California wondering if Gabe would even want to be with me. I wondered how I would handle that rejection, but I had to believe that he wouldn’t let me go. And thank god he didn’t.
Jenn: After everything that you have been through do you believe that true love can conquer all things? There were times I’m sure you didn’t but now that all is said and done do you?
Jess: I do, but I’m not naïve enough to believe that it’s just love. It’s love, trust, honesty and communication.
Jenn: What is your one biggest fear?
Jess: Something happening to Olivia or Gabe. I’d die. I’m telling you right now, I couldn’t handle life without them.
Jenn: Before we finish up I have one last question I like to ask of all my interviews. Tell me one thing that we don’t know about you.
Jess: Since I stay home now with Olivia I actually write a cooking blog. It combine’s my love of both writing and cooking. I actually have quite a decent following. It makes me happy, it’s fulfilling and allows me the flexibility to spend time with Gabe and Livvy.
Jenn: Well that’s all the questions that I have for you today. I thank you so much for meeting with me and answering some questions for our readers. Your story was amazing and beautiful and I wish you all the very best in life. You sure do deserve it after all you’ve been through.
Jess: Thank you for coming to talk with me. It was so nice to meet you.
Well that’s all I have. As I drive back to the airport I reflect back on the story and I truly admire Jess’s courage. When life tried to break her down she refused to stay there. I really enjoyed sitting down with Jess today.
Thanks for following along…
To say that I loved this book would probably be a gross understatement. I was sucked in from the moment the book started and the moment shared between Jess and Gabe when they went to visit his college. You knew where it was headed but the story in between is something I never would have predicted.
Losing her mother at a very young age all Jess really had was an absentee father who was checked out of life the moment that his wife passed away… Luckily Jess had the help of her neighbors the Garcia’s. She spent most of her childhood growing up in the house across the street while her father worked long hours at the firehouse. The Garcia’s were such a great family! I loved the dynamic between them and their eagerness to take care of Jess like one of their own. Her best friend Ava and she were extremely close and it was more than obvious that they were like soul sisters… Jess became enamored with Gabe Garcia but always had reservations about him because they lived together like brother and sister even thought they really had no relation to one another. On a trip to visit Gabe at his school it became pretty clear to Jess that Gabe had the same feelings. She would soon find out just how much he reciprocated those feelings for her…
As their story unfolds you find out just how vulnerable Jess is. Even though the Garcia’s were wonderful to her she cannot help the fact that her father’s actions have molded her psyche a bit. She doesn’t quite feel worthy at times and wonders why her father can’t love her. This made me so sad, I totally understood that he lost his wife, but she lost her mother and they were all each other had. he’s But despite the fact that her father pretty much abandons her on a regular basis she knows how to give love. And she loves Gabe. Their sparks from the beginning were beautiful and natural. I was happy to see her reservation about having a relationship with him because of their family connection. They were being conscious of everyone around them and not just running off into the sunset like love struck teenagers.
Gabe Garcia is like every woman’s dream come true. He is willing to sacrifice everything to be with the woman he loves at any cost including his career in football. When he decides to go home to become a fireman everything changes for Gabe. Gabe’s character just makes me swoon! He was so sweet and loving, kind and caring and has that stop at nothing to get what he wants attitude. He’s also patient and sensitive. Yeah he’s pretty much a god among men. Wow I was smitten with him from the moment in his dorm room at college to the last word of the book. Gabe loves Jess unconditionally and will never stop and he proves that repeatedly throughout the book. When the two of them suffer a devastating incident and she pushes everyone in her life away, he doesn’t run away with his tail between his legs and he never stops wanting and needing Jess more then the air he breaths. They share that love that transcends time and space.
When the twist in the book came I must say that I was totally surprised. Honestly when I read the synopsis I had something completely different in my head of what would devastate the couple along their journey. But I was really shocked when it did transpire cause it was not expected at all and for that I give a standing ovation because most of the time I find lately that the synopsis gives away too much of the plot, so much so that I have stopped reading them most of the time.
I couldn’t say more about this book without giving too much away but this is a 5 Star MUST READ! One of the better books that I have personally read this year so far… For a first time author Rebecca did an amazing job weaving a story filled with love, passion and heartache. I couldn’t recommend to change anything in this book from beginning to end I thought that the story was just as perfect as Gabe Garcia… hehehe… yeah I’m kinda smitten with him!
Rebecca Shea lives in Phoenix, Arizona with her family and her first “kid” her beagle, Miles. From the time Rebecca could read she has had a passion for reading and books. Rebecca spends her days working full-time in the financial industry as a marketing manager. Born and raised in Minnesota, Rebecca moved to Arizona in 1999 to escape the bitter winters. When not working or writing, she can be found on the sidelines of her boys football games, or watching her daughter at ballet class. Rebecca is fueled by insane amounts of coffee, margarita’s, Laffy Taffy (except the banana ones), and happily ever after’s.